“Is there something you needed?” Isaac asked sharply.
Instead of answering him, Ackley grabbed Isaac’s battered hands and brought them up, carefully studying them.
“You’re hurt,” Ackley finally said in a strangely concerned voice.
“It’s no big deal. I’ve had worse.”
Isaac tried to pull his hands back but Ackley kept a firm grip. They played a strange game of tug-of-war for a few moments before Isaac finally gave up with an exasperated sigh. “Is there something you wanted, sir?”
“I thought I told you to call me by my name,” Ackley replied.
“You’re officially my superior officer. It wouldn’t be proper.”
“Maybe I just like the sound of my name on your lips.”
“Maybe I don’t like saying it.”
“Maybe I’m making it an official order.” Ackley’s eyes took on a hard glint.
Isaac took in a breath, his blood boiling with rage.
“Fine, I don’t like saying it, Ackley.” Isaac drew the name out for emphasis. “Now will you let my hands go?”
“You need to go to the infirmary.”
“Why? So your boyfriend can heal them?”
Ackley’s lips curled up into a smile that would have been considered cute under any other circumstances. “I don’t have a boyfriend…yet.”
“Well, don’t let me keep you from that search. Get going,” Isaac urged.
Ackley took a step closer. “Oh, I found what I was looking for.”
Isaac’s heart stuttered. Surely Ackley didn’t mean what Isaac thought he did. If so, that would have to be the biggest irony of all. “You…you did?”
Gazing directly into Isaac’s eyes, Ackley nodded. “Yes.”
Now Isaac had an inkling of what Ackley’s targets must feel like right before Ackley went in for the kill, only Ackley wasn’t there to assassinate him. No, it was much worse. And come to think that a mere few hours ago, this predicament would have filled Isaac with joy.
“And what if I don’t want any part of this arrangement?” Isaac asked.
Ackley blinked as if confused. The arrogant ass probably didn’t ever stop to consider that Isaac might not want a relationship with him. Silly bird! “Why wouldn’t you want to? I can protect you.”
“From being hurt. You’re so small and vulnerable. You’ve been hurt in the past. I heard about it, and I want to make sure that it never happens again.”
Isaac’s mouth opened and closed a few times in outrage. Just when he thought the asshole couldn’t get any worse. “I showed you earlier that I am more than capable of taking care of myself. I don’t need anybody to watch over me. I may be small, but I don’t need to be coddled. I can handle anything that comes my way. Now let me go, so I can go to bed.”
Instead, Ackley brought one of Isaac’s hands up and began to feather kisses over the cuts and bruises. Despite his anger, a small shiver of pleasure worked its way down Isaac’s spine and worked its way to Isaac’s cock. Damn, his body for betraying him. He’d have to give it a firm talking to later on.
“What are you doing?” he demanded.
“Kissing it better,” Ackley replied between pecks.
Had somebody told Isaac that one of the coalition’s toughest assassins would be kissing away his boo-boos by night’s end, he would have laughed in their faces. Yet, there it was, happening right in front of his doorway.
While a small part of Isaac wanted to let it go on for the rest of the night, he was still angry enough to give one last pull. To his surprise, this time Ackley let go.
“I don’t know what in the hell has gotten into you, but there is nothing going on between us,” Isaac spat.
“You’re cute when you get mad,” Ackley observed with a sexy grin.
Isaac shook his head. “Are we in opposite land or something?? A few hours ago, you didn’t even know my name, and now you want me like a cat wants catnip.”
“Baxley told me all about you, and I realized that you would be the perfect mate for me.”
Isaac threw his hands in the air. “Why?”
“Because you’re just like him. So sweet and innocent and in need of a protector.”
Isaac felt like he’d just been thrown into some weird dream or something, because nothing was making any damn sense. He didn’t know whether he wanted to strangle Ackley or just outright kill him. “Baxley and I are nothing alike. You know nothing about me.”
“I know I want you.”
“And I know you are an idiot.”
With that final insult, Isaac went inside and slammed the door in Ackley’s face.